How The United Kingdom's Health-Care System Works


As politicians in the US debate the best health-care policies to replace the current system, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service enjoys huge support from the vast majority of Britons. Despite the high reports of satisfaction with system, many in the UK are calling for reform of the NHS, especially following the UK’s departure from the European Union. Here’s how the NHS works and what reforms may be coming.

CORRECTION (March 6, 2020): At 9:20, a video graphic misspelled the name of Holly Jarman, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan.

» Subscribe to CNBC:
» Subscribe to CNBC TV:
» Subscribe to CNBC Classic:

About CNBC: From ‘Wall Street’ to ‘Main Street’ to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more.

Connect with CNBC News Online
Get the latest news:
Follow CNBC on LinkedIn:
Follow CNBC News on Facebook:
Follow CNBC News on Twitter:
Follow CNBC News on Instagram:


How The United Kingdom’s Health-Care System Works

Read more all post Health :
  1. lazaruslong1960 says

    About 30 years ago (yes, I'm old), I was working alongside some American guys on a job here in the UK. Unfortunately one of these guys had an accident and quite badly damaged hi hand- blood every where in spurts level of damage.The first aid guy on our crew got a pressure bandage on the damage and and said that he needed to go to hospital and that he would call an ambulance. The American guy freaked out. The firm that he worked for had not provided medical cover for their team while working abroad, and while his colleagues had taken out medical insurance, he hadn't, so he was panicking about how he would pay for an ambulance and treatment.We explained to him, that, technically as a non Brit he should be charged for treatment, the reality was that in the NHS they very, very rarely did this. In fact they tended NOT to ask about nationality etc, and that it would cost him nothing.He was taken to hospital, having had more work done on his injury by the paramedics who came. He came back to the worksite the following day. He was all bandaged up, and couldn't really work, but he wanted to hear again how we, could afford to offer treatment that would probably cost at the very least several hundred dollars.It took him a while to get his head round how the NHS is funded. 2 years later I ran into the same guy on another work site . He had gone back to the States and looked into how Britain was run, education, healthcare, policing etc. He made the decision that although he loved the USA, he decided to emigrate to the UK with his wife and their daughter because he could see that here we, have very similar ideals to the USA, but are a safer country to live and raise a family.His daughter (and her 2 brothers who were born here) are British citizens.

  2. Mer Kin says

    Sure…If those who do not have health care or are underinsured wait until they are an emergency room case that is overall expensive.The leaders of the USA are bad capitalists since they so Not know how to create the best healthcare system at the lowest costs.

  3. s mcb says

    The U.K has many issues to address but I'm so grateful for our N.H.S.. I can only imagine the trauma of having a loved one needing vital, emergency medical treatment and being asked for their insurance policy before they are treated.

  4. Fauzi Rahman says

    If it works out to be cheaper overall for everyone, that seems better for me.

  5. Ewan Knight says

    Friendly reminder that we have a centrist-right government for the UK and 3 Centrist-left governments for the devolved nations. (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) (our devolved governments are basically like US state governments, apart from they represent a country inside the country that is the UK)

  6. Connor Sutton says

    I live in the uk and I pay a percentage of my weekly wage called national insurance (NI) to fund my health care.

  7. Plum Bit says

    American patient: It sure would be great if we had socialised healthcare!American doctor: That's crazy! Your taxes would go up, it would cost too much, you don't want that!American patient: OhAmerican doctor: Anyway, here's your bill for $80,000 for breaking your arm

  8. CAM L says

    Yeah well we're loosing it….

  9. DTB Scull says

    The NHS does its job but waiting lists are long, very long. It takes 3 or 4 weeks to see your GP and it can take a year to get an operation. I’ve worked within the NHS and it’s an institution that is wasteful with institutional views. I pay private heath insurance. I’ve lived in several countries and in my experience private health care provides a much more efficient service.

  10. Dank Memes says

    Now the uk is giving nhs workers a raise because of COVID-19. We have realised how important they are because of the pandemic

  11. Dillon Kumar says

    Anything negative that happens to our NHS is a cause for war here

  12. Epic Sharp says

    “Imagine having to pay for healthcare…” -this post was made by uk gang.

  13. Josh says

    American politics:1% actually doing anything99% circlejerking on whether something is "socialism" or "capitalism"

  14. Nine says

    The only problem with NHS is that it is runned by accountants and managers which have no experience in healthcare. NHS should be runned by Doctors

  15. Gabriel Hicks says

    Sanders is nowhere near far left

  16. David Smith says

    What voted leave because we wanted to be an independent country , not what was written on a side of a bus! No EU army the said in the referendum, now they are talking about an EU army! I rest my case!

  17. jdb47games says

    1:48 '1.5x fewer deaths'?! That is arithmetical babble. They mean the USA has 50% more deaths. It is impossible to have more than 1.0 times fewer of anything.

  18. Adeel Ahmad says

    it actually doesn't work, the service has more managers than doctors and nurses, in fact, they have more foreign doctors and nurses than they have locally trained ones, and they use outsourcing companies for everything from records management to bookings and appointments, just imagine the amount of data breaches happen there, they even pay 150 times more for medicines on behalf of the taxpayer, so you only have to pay 7 pound something, that same over priced medicine would likely cost a lot cheaper if they bought it directly, but such is the role of managers like they'd care, wastage of money is everywhere, managers get bonuses while the nhs doctors and nurses get a clap, is one of the most ineffective public service that allows businesses to exploit the taxpayer so consultancies and pharma can make huge money, while the patient has to queue up and wait in line to be seen, and queues could stretch into months and years before you are seen to, not to mention the fact that the staff will be rude and racist because they assume that every non-white person is likely a refugee or an asylum seeker living on benefits…so they treat you like you are burden to the system which is how they use their silly stats that non-whites have a higher chance of catching covid than whites LOL

  19. Joseph Powell says

    Wake up U.S. Private Insurance SUCKS and is run by Wall Streat!

  20. BadgerUKvideo says

    Only country on the planet to ever use Communist leagues for sport. Literally a competitive discipline by definition. Health care? No chance, full on capitalism for healthcare. Genius.

  21. Valentine New says

    The NHS is absolutely amazing and makes me extremely proud to be British! Healthcare is a right not a luxury.

  22. tallthinkev says

    I have a good number of health problems, in fact it's not possible for me to work. Last year I used the NHS about 15 times, I didn't have to pay the NHS anything directly. It did however pay taxs, while at work, for 25 years, and pay tax when I buy almost anything. If I was in the US I would be dead or bankrupt, most likely both.

  23. Matthee Latham says

    Yehhhh but you guys have all those nice air craft carriers pow pow pow boom.

  24. C Moreland says

    How does UK’s healthcare work for single parents who don’t work?

  25. Logan Riley says

    I work in the NHS I can truly say that access to healthcare in the UK is judged by clinical need and not by ones ability to pay. You could be homeless and we'd do everything we could for you regardless of cost. In my opinion the NHS is one of, if not the best thing to come out of this country.

  26. Jason Attwood says

    Are your so called heroes prepared for the new virus?

  27. Dawson Michael John Kenney Pugh says

    Bernie is not far left.

  28. John A Doe says

    Some parties, like the one in government at the moment have a habit of selling things off to private industry. and what they can't privatise directly, they privatise via the back won't be long before it is fully private, granted the tax payer might be picking up the tab, but it'll shift more to a private and deregulated system.

  29. Phil Space says

    How the NHS works….me and my employer pay over 500 quid a month, I can't even get a GP appointment when I need one, getting a repeat prescription is a nightmare – it costs me 9 quid despite paying the said 500 quid a month….getting a specialist appointment is a disaster…..but we're supposed to clap like seals on a Thursday while their staff push in the queue at Tescos cos they're so special….lots of time to make Tik Tok videos tho'

  30. moraa says

    this didn't age well…..

  31. New Manchester says

    An NHS-style healthcare system, a French-style healthcare system, a healthcare system of Australia or Bernie Sanders' Medicare For All single-payer healthcare program is something the United States needs. There is some problems in this country. Big, big problems on why the United States will never have a universal healthcare plan. You have Conservative Republicans, people drunk on Fox News and people drinking the BS kool-aid said that universal healthcare is straight out of Hitler's playbook, the healthcare is slow with long waiting lists, those countries pay higher taxes, it is communism and they don't have freedom. Plus, you have corporate establishment neoliberal democrats who wants to add more to the ACA and do nothing to stop people from being uninsured. Then you have the for-profit health insurance companies, greedy heartless rich people and greedy huge multinational corporations who is afraid to lose a penny over a public healthcare system. Bernie Sanders was screwed twice by the corporate establishment DNC. In 2016 for Hillary Clinton and in this year 2020 for Joe Biden. Throw in people saying that voting is a waste of time and brain-dead people who don't care about how bad healthcare is in America, with people who don't have a clue, is the reasons why the United States of America will never have universal coverage. Other countries are kicking our asses on healthcare and handling covid-19. That tells you that the USA sucks.

  32. matt mclean says

    in america, citizens have been taught to fear the word "SOCIAL" connected to any other word. This is only because of BIG INSURANCE who actually runs this country. They only use the masses of people here for a battery source to grow their empires larger & larger. The government is only a pull the strings tool for all these big insurance companies and corporations who control this country through supply and demand monopoly. as far as a single payer social health care system here in america?… people are told that it's no good, and a lot of people here believe it, they don't realize i guess that when they reach 50 years old, they will need this health care. We are in such a mess here, please NHS come here?!!! I look forward to the day this will change. I need health care now, i'm 51, problems are slowly developing, and i can't get health care. I don't have the money to afford it, i have no credit, so that's a dead end for me. I live here in America, I wish so badly this was different. Help

  33. Troy Ong says

    I don't understand how America is classed as a first world country when a large portion of the population often have to forgo their health needs because of lack of wealth? I read about this guy who was terminally ill from cancer but didn't have the funds to pay for care so he went to a bank asked the teller for a dollar in order for it to be classed as a 'robbery' waited for the police to get there and arrest him. He was then put in prison where he received free healthcare. THAT IS BACKWARDS AS HELL! (-_-)

  34. Amy Murray says

    Bernie Sanders "far left"? He wouldn't be viewed as that in the UK

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.